Louisville videographer captures Black Lives Matter protests

“Why are you here to protest? “

That’s a question local videographer Kyle Gordon asked protesters time and time again in the summer of 2020. After spending 30 days protesting alongside these same people, he picked up his camera to make a series of focused videos on the Black lives matter in Louisville and the protests following the death of Breonna Taylor.

It has become “Voice of the Movement “, the first big video Gordon project produced by himself.

“I wanted to be there for them and not exploit the movement. I didn’t feel like this was my story to tell. I was meant to be just a body on the ground,” Gordon told the Courier Journal .

Protesters swept across America last summer in response to the deaths of Taylor and George Floyd and although a major spotlight has been placed on the protests, they have often been portrayed in a negative light. Many people, like Gordon, countered this account with their own images of the peace they witnessed during the movement.

“I feel through personal stories and the ability to have conversations with each other that we can understand each other better,” Gordon said.

At first, the project had no direction and evolved as Gordon interacted with people.

“I let the project take me where I want it to take me. I had no expectations, so I set myself small goals,” said Gordon. The project now consists of 50 videosacross a variety of social media platforms.

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A father of Métis children, Gordon initially joined the protest movement in Louisville to help make the world a better and safer place for his two children. He could often be seen at protests wearing his “Best Dad” cap, a reminder to himself to be the best dad and the best version of himself he could be.

This hat, which he wears to concerts all over the city, is now part of his brand.

“That genre got into the business. I started being labeled as the ‘best daddy’ video. Like rappers, in particular, they would tag me and say things like ‘just gonna work with the best dad’ and things like that, ”Gordon mentioned. “It kind of stood out.”

Gordon embraced the nickname and Best Media Dad was born. Her family helps run the business – her kids designed the logo and help her put things together and shoot videos. His partner also helps him run the small business, which has fewer than five employees.

Best Dad Media’s mission is simple. “I would say we really want to help people who don’t tell their story,” Gordon said.

Kyle Gordon had always worn his best father hat to remember being the best father to his children and his dedication to fatherhood.  Eventually, the people he worked with started calling him the best dad.  He then set up his family business called Best Dad Media.

Gordon has over 10 years of video experience alongside many Louisville recording artists such as The real young prodigy and Marc DiNero. Her work can also be found in Oprah Magazine, TIME Magazine and other major media.

He startedher career path while working full time at a local church. He was in charge of everything creative, from graphics and paintings to set design and more. The pastor finally asked him to create a video and he began to learn as much as possible about videography.

“I was in a unique place where I really got to know things. They invested in me and helped me learn the craft. Once I started to find out, I kinda So followed the path of church videography, much like a documentary testimony videos, ”Gordon said.

He then moved on to wedding videography and2018, he embarked on full-time videography with an emphasison entertainment, such as music videos and commercials.

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This is how he met Antonio Taylor and his wife, Nyree Clayton-Taylor. They created a non-profit organization called Hip-Hop in learning and hired Gordon to shoot a video for his social justice group, The real young prodigy. He helped film his first project called Repairs, which was aimed at securing reparations, making amends for a wrong done, paying money or otherwise helping those wronged, and is often part of the conversation surrounding the descendants of former black slaves.

“He’s worked on every project we’ve done since 2019. We love that Kyle has a passion for kids, a passion for children’s voices and he also has a real passion for the community,” Taylor said. in the Courier Journal.

Gordon helped create The real young prodigy last video called crown, a project that inspired Louisville metro councilor Jecorey Arthur (D-4) to file a prescription for the CROWN Act or “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair” in Louisville.

The Real Young Wonders performed at the Youth Rally after the vote outside the Roots 101 Museum in downtown Louisville, Ky. On November 3, 2020. They then walked to Jefferson Square Park.

The ordinance, which was promulgated by Mayor Greg Fischer in mid-July, prohibits discrimination against a person because of their natural hair or hairstyles.

“Kyle was a big part of that. He helped create a lot of concepts for the video. He really helped the kids reach their goal,” Taylor said.

Gordon has been involved in many paid projects, but his passionate projects, like the one with the recent protests, are what he loves the most.

“Projects that nobody paid me for. Nobody told me to do it. I wanted to do it,” Gordonsaid of his work.

When COVID-19 and the death of Breonna Taylor overtook the city in 2020, Gordon stepped back to reassess the path he wanted to take with videography.

“I was following the path of all of these people before me, and they all kind of opened up a path that I don’t want to take,” Gordon said. “I don’t want to shoot movies. I don’t want to shoot commercials for Churchill Downs or Woodford Reserve. I just want to make videos that tell stories that matter.”

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He was looking for things to shoot and got the idea of ​​his Stories of COVID-19 video series.

“At first I was just going out and documenting. I like documenting, that’s how I treat things,” Gordon said. The series kicks off with local artist Jaylin Monet Stewart making sidewalk chalk art by Norton Hospital for Women and Children and Norton Children’s Hospital healthcare workers during COVID-19. The videos also highlight agroup of skaters, social media influencers, a nurse and more.

D'anglia McMillan, center, performs in a hip-hop performance with the band Real Young Prodigys inside the new Roots 101 museum space on Juneteenth.  June 19, 2021

For him, the project was a great way for people to see something positive during a dark time.

“… and that was at a time when there weren’t a lot of smiles on people’s faces, so it’s just wonderful to see humanity exposed in different ways,” Gordon said.

He also started making more videos for nonprofit organizations, like Unit runners, which was created by Gina Wickstead and Nicol Hodges on June 11th.

The duo, both passionate about running, started running in downtown San Diego to raise awareness of Breonna Taylor and racial inequality. They finally created “Running for Breonna“, where several runners come together to run and promote Taylor, wearing bibs bearing the words” #RunForBreonna Justice for Breonna Taylor. The race took place in more than 45 locations in the United States, Canada and Brazil.

According to Wickstead, they raised $ 15,000 for the Breonna Taylor Foundation and helped raise $ 4,000 for Until freedom, an intersectional social justice organization rooted in the leadership of diverse people of color to fight systemic and racial injustice.

The mission of the Unity Runners is to help give a voice to black women who don’t have one. Much like Gordon’s videos, the group wants to raise awareness of social justice issues in their own way.

“It was a huge job that (Gordon) did to showcase all of the people who make up the Louisville band. We are so grateful to him,” Wickstead said of the videos he shot from the branch of. Louisville from Unity Runners. “It’s so important to keep Breonna’s name there because she’s another person that people need to pay attention to.”

The members of The Real Young Prodigys smiled and danced as they performed at the "Wear orange" Saturday afternoon event in the Chickasaw neighborhood of Louisville.  June 5, 2021

Gordon says his work differs from other videographers because of its rawness. He doesn’t like controlling things, like telling people to look at the camera, talking with their hands, or using giant microphones.

“I think sometimes things can be overproduced and you can lose some of the rawness,” Gordon said.

To watch the stories of COVID-19 and the voices of the movement, visit bestdadmedia.com/.

Reach Features Intern Gabby Bunton at [email protected]

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